Trump woos thousands of ‘rebellious’ gun-rights advocates as he accepts 2024 endorsement at NRA convention

Gun Rights

Donald Trump wooed “rebellious” gun-rights advocates Saturday at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, pleading with them to go to the polls in November’s presidential election.

“With your vote I will stand strong for your rights and liberties,” he told about 8,000 NRA members who packed the main hall of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to capacity for his 100-minute keynote address.

But he gently scolded them for their lackadaisical voting habits as he sought to re-animate and expand his victorious 2016 coalition.

“You’re rebellious people, aren’t you? Gun owners don’t vote,” he noted.

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“I think you’re a rebellious bunch,” he continued as he accepted the powerful group’s endorsement.
“But let’s be rebellious and vote this time, okay?” he said.

It was Trump’s ninth appearance before an NRA crowd, and his second this year, as he continued to court a powerful lobby that has given Trump its full-throated support since his first White House run in 2016.

His stop in Dallas dovetailed with the launch of “Gun Owners for Trump,” a coalition organized by the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign to boost voter registration among gun owners, sign them up for absentee ballots, and sell them lawn signs and other merch.

“President Trump believes that every American has a God-given right to protect themselves and their family and has proven through his actions that he will defend law-abiding gun owners,” according to the group’s website.

Trump also took a significant swing at independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose campaign is drawing voters away from both major parties.

Donald Trump wooed “rebellious” gun-rights advocates Saturday at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, pleading with them to go to the polls in November’s presidential election. REUTERS

“RFK Jr. is radical left, he always has been,” Trump said.

“He calls you a terrorist group, and I call you the backbone of America.”

He slammed President Biden as a “Manchurian candidate” and a “threat to democracy.

“Biden wants to disarm our citizens while he floods our country with violent criminals,” he said, as he decried the massive migrant influx of the last three years.

Trump has made the defense of gun rights a central pillar of his 2024 campaign.

“With your vote I will stand strong for your rights and liberties,” he told about 8,000 NRA members who packed the main hall of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to capacity for his 100-minute keynote address. REUTERS

“We need that Second Amendment for safety,” he told the crowd in Dallas.

“Because the bad guys are not giving up their guns,” he said.

“And Crooked Joe has a 40-year record of trying to rip guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.”

In February, Trump promised NRA members in Pennsylvania that he’d “terminate” Biden’s regulations restricting gun ownership and manufacturing in “my very first week back in office, perhaps my first day.”

“During my four years … there was great pressure on me having to do with guns,” he said that month during an NRA-sponsored rally at the Great American Outdoor show in Harrisburg.

It was Trump’s ninth appearance before an NRA crowd, and his second this year, as he continued to court a powerful lobby that has given Trump its full-throated support since his first White House run in 2016. REUTERS

“We did nothing, we didn’t yield.”

During the NRA’s 2023 annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., he jokingly warned the group that it “better” endorse him for president in 2024 — moments after Mike Pence, Trump’s former veep and then-rival for the GOP nomination, was mercilessly booed by conference attendees

“We did a great job and they better endorse me again – or they’re going to have some explaining to do,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign sought to knock Trump’s NRA appearance with a series of social media posts spotlighting some of the former president’s past pro-Second Amendment statements.

“Gun violence is something Donald Trump thinks we all need to just ‘get over.’ That’s unconscionable,” Vice President Harris claimed on X.

“Trump will sell out to the gun lobby at the expense of our kids and communities,” she charged.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who addressed the NRA crowd shortly before Trump took the stage, took exception to Harris’s message.

“Donald Trump is the antidote to Joe Biden,” Abbott said.

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